The No. 6-ranked Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team put on a game for the ages as they torched the UMBC Retrievers by a final score of 25-13 in the semifinals of the America East tournament. The Seawolves scored the most goals ever in an America East playoff game, breaking their own 22 point record from a 2018 match against Albany.
Graduate midfielder Ally Kennedy finished with seven goals, setting a conference playoffs record, as well as four ground balls. Her performance rewrote the Stony Brook record books, giving her the second-most goals and third-most ground balls in program history.
“I’m humbled, honestly,” Kennedy said on sharing her spot on the career goals list with Kylie Ohlmiller. “The fact that I get to share it with a Stony Brook icon, and also one of my closest friends, is really awesome. I know that I have her support no matter what. To have my name in the record book alongside her is really cool. As I was leaving the field, I saw her. And she told me I’m ‘okay’ at lacrosse.”
The game did not start out well for the Seawolves, as they found themselves down 4-0 early in the first half following sloppy play and an inability to score.
“The start wasn’t what we’re used to,” senior midfielder Sarah Pulis said in a postgame press conference. “But we kept going and kept our heads in it and didn’t get down on ourselves and finished the way we normally would.”
Kennedy, the reigning America East Midfielder of the Year, scored the first Stony Brook goal seven minutes into the game. Thirteen minutes later, she scored again to put the Seawolves up 6-5. After some minor back-and-forth scoring, the Seawolves headed into the half with an 11-8 lead they would not relinquish.
Stony Brook then outscored the Retrievers 13-5 in the second half, including a run of five unanswered goals.
In all, eight different players scored for the Seawolves. Kennedy led the charge, but reigning America East Attacker of the Year Taryn Ohlmiller came in with five goals and two assists. Pulis had four goals, sophomore attacker Kailyn Hart had a hat trick and senior attacker Rebecca Kinsley also added three assists.
“Ending with 25 goals on the day is a great team effort,” Kennedy said.
Later, head coach Joe Spallina put the win into perspective, explaining that the team’s resiliency shone brighter in the face of early adversity.
“To be in a playoff game, down four goals and all the momentum is on the other side — for our players to take a deep breath and respond to go on the run that we did says a lot about their character,” Spallina said.
With the win, the Seawolves punched their eighth straight ticket to the America East Championship against their rivals in Albany on Saturday, May 8. But for the team, there’s more than conference glory on the line.
“It’s not about winning an America East championship,” Spallina said. “We are in a position to clinch a NCAA berth. And we will celebrate on Saturday if we win, clinching an NCAA berth. And you can quote exactly that and people will know what I mean.”